AUTHOR • TEACHER • PUBLISHER • EDITOR
Jessica Powers, who writes under the name J.L. Powers, has published 9 books, including 5 books for young adults, a picture book, two collections of essays (she was the editor), and a hiking guide to southern New Mexico/western Texas. In addition, she has published hundreds of short stories, essays, articles, poems, and book reviews in both online and print publications.
Jessica has worked in the publishing industry since 2002, first as a publicist and marketing manager then as an editor and foreign rights director for Cinco Puntos Press. In 2017, Jessica launched Catalyst Press, a publishing company with global distribution, which focuses on publishing African writers and African based books for people of all ages. The press includes two imprints, Powers Squared (an imprint for publishing narratives related to science) and Story Press Africa (an imprint formed between Catalyst and Jive Media Africa to relate African knowledge through graphic novels, comics, and other illustrated volumes.) In 2019, Publishers Weekly named Jessica as an MVP in the industry.
Jessica has a Bachelors in English from New Mexico State University, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso, and Master’s degrees in African History from the State University of New York at Albany and Stanford University. She has a certificate in picture book writing from Vermont College, a certificate in grants writing from San Diego State University, and is currently earning a certificate in Copyediting from the University of California at San Diego, to be completed in April 2021. She currently serves as a writing coach and publishing consultant and provides all level of editorial and marketing services, grants writing, and consulting services for a variety of individual clients, businesses, non-profits, and publishing companies.
Jessica serves on the boards of PubWest and the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI) and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters (TIL) and the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). She has been a judge for the Neustadt literary awards and TIL’s Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story.